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Watch the Clouds Go Sailing By
Chapter 21: Vows Under the Mallorn
Meriadoc Brandybuck stood beneath the mallorn. Samwise Gamgee stood on his left, and Diamond Took on his right. Elfstan Fairbairn grinned proudly at his grandfather. His aunt and new uncle had allowed him to be the pageboy for their wedding. Little Aster Banks, Pervinca’s granddaughter, had been chosen as the flower-girl. Her dress had been made to match Goldi’s.
Finally, through the aisle made by the wedding guests, Pervinca and Legolas escorted Faramir and Goldilocks to the mallorn. Legolas knew that his face was bright red. He could not believe he had agreed to this! As they passed Gimli, seated in the very front row of guests, Legolas was sure he heard the dwarf chuckle.
Meriadoc grinned at the two young hobbits. He cleared his throat, before starting on the traditional wedding greeting. “Welcome, dear friends. We come here today to celebrate the union of two families, and the marriage of two hobbits. As the Master of Buckland, it is my honour to do this.” As was also tradition, he held out his hands with the palms facing upwards, and addressed Diamond, as the mother of the groom. “Diamond Took, do you give your blessing to your son, Faramir, to begin his own life and family, while remembering those who brought him into this life?”
With a shaking hand and wavering voice, Diamond placed Faramir’s left hand in Meriadoc’s right. “My dear, sweet Faramir. You are my only child, and have always held you so closely. Now it is time for another to hold you. I give you my blessing to begin your new life with she who you have chosen.” Diamond stepped back to stand with Peregrin. Tears were already starting to spill from her eyes.
Now, Meriadoc turned to Sam. “Samwise Gamgee, do you give your blessing to your daughter, Goldilocks, to begin her own life and family, while remembering those who brought her into this life?”
“I do indeed,” replied Sam. He took Goldi’s right hand and placed it upon Meriadoc’s left. “Goldi, where can I start? I cannot think of anyone better for you, than he who you have chosen. I don’t know how I ever could have doubted him. Your love for him should have been enough for me. You bring together two families that have for too long been separated, and I am so proud of you. You have my blessing for your life together.” Sam also stepped away.
“Pervinca Took and Prince Legolas of Ithilien.” Meriadoc grinned at the elf. He looked so unhappy to be there. “You have been chosen by the betrothed as their closest friends, and appointed as witnesses to their union. Do you promise to stand by and support them in their marriage?”
“We do,” said Pervinca, and Legolas repeated the reply a moment later.
With a nod, Meriadoc faced Faramir and Goldilocks. “And now, Faramir and Goldilocks, will you speak your vows?”
Faramir took a deep breath. “Gracious, Goldilocks, like your father, I don’t know where to start. I have known you all of my life, and I am so honoured that you have agreed to be with me for the rest of it. When I think back, I realise that I have loved you for all that time, but I just have never known it. Every day spent with you was a blessing. I wish that I could have chosen a better place to propose to you, but I suppose that Weathertop hill is a place that not many will copy, and that few will be able to top. Of course, I do challenge Merry and Pippin to at least try.” He grinned at his two friends. As he did so, he noticed a small look exchanged between Merry and Lavender Boffin, and realised that Merry had missed his chance to accept the challenge. “I love you, Goldilocks Gamgee. I always have, and I always will, I swear this to you upon my honour as knight of Gondor and future Thain.”
Amidst tears, Goldi smiled at Faramir. “Faramir, I cannot remember a moment spent with you in which you have not managed to frustrate me, and this is no exception. You have said everything that I wanted to say better than I had planned, and now my well practiced vows are useless.” She grinned again. “So, if the vows I now speak seem like nonsense, just remember that I had to make them up on the spot.
“Faramir Took, you chose the perfect way and place to propose to me. Any other way would have not represented who you are, and thus, why I love you. Your love for me made you do some foolish things, from facing the terrors of the Old Forest to believing I could ever love another.” Goldi winked at Legolas. “But despite your foolishness and you uncanny ability to infuriate me, I love you, Faramir. I have since we shared our first kiss, and I will continue doing so until we share our last.”
Meriadoc grinned. “Any objections?” he offered the crowd of guests. They were silent. “Then it is my honour and pleasure to pronounce you husband and wife. As Master of Buckland, you have my blessing, and as dear old Uncle Merry, you have my love. Congratulations!” He joined their hands together.
Faramir picked Goldi up and spun her just once, before kissing her. Goldi wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. The guests all stood and cheered. Even Legolas smiled broadly and clapped, forgetting his embarrassment.
Finally, Meriadoc held up his hands to hush the cheering. “And now, to bless the union, the appointed witnesses shall join our new couple in the first dance.”
Faramir held Goldi’s hand and led her into the centre of the field. Sam and Diamond followed them, and lastly came Pervinca and Legolas. The elf felt a fool, and this was not helped by the smug smirk Gimli’s face bore as he stood in the crowd.
Pervinca seemed to sense Legolas’ discomfort. “I’m afraid this is hobbit tradition. If we do not, as appointed witnesses, join Faramir and Goldi in their first dance, bad luck will come to them and their marriage will not be blessed. Would you wish that upon them?”
“Of course not. I just…”
“Just follow my lead Master Elf.”
They made an interesting pair, with Legolas standing nearly twice Pervinca’s height and trying to follow the steps of the traditional hobbit dance. But they were not the only interesting sight. Diamond was a head taller than Sam, and since she was used to dancing with Peregrin, or occasionally Meriadoc or Faramir, kept stepping on his feet.
“Oh, I’m sorry Sam!” she whispered.
“No matter, Diamond,” Sam replied, trying not to wince. “I suppose you never thought you’d ever have to dance with me at a wedding!”
“Oh, I suspected it since they were children. I’ve been told that you and Rose were friends from the cradle, and sweethearts from your childhood.”
“Aye, we were indeed.”
Faramir and Goldi saw none of this. They only had eyes for each other. Tears welled up in Goldi’s eyes. “Oh, Faramir, this is too perfect. I keep expecting to wake up. It can’t be real!”
He kissed her softly. “It’s real, my sweet, and it is better than any dream.”
“Hmm, I know.” She rested her head on his chest. The dance ended, and Goldi moved away from Faramir.
“Where are you going?”
“To throw my posy, silly,” she replied. “I want to see who the next lucky lass will be.”
The guests all heard her say this, and soon, all of the unmarried maidens had gathered together. Daisy and Primrose were there, along with Rosie, who they had pulled with them. Lily Noakes stood by the edge of the group and smiled at Goldi. She was only partaking for the sake of tradition. Much to Meriadoc’s distress, young Éowyn had joined the group, but he could do nothing to stop her. Ruby Gamgee refused to participate, and for that, her parents were grateful.
Goldi turned her back to the group, and tossed her posy. She turned back to face them, expecting to see a ruckus as all of the lasses fought to claim the posy. Instead, she saw the group staring in shock at the lass standing in the centre holding the posy in her hands. It was Rosie Gamgee, the daughter of Samwise who claimed that she never wished to marry. The look on her face was so comical that Goldi had to laugh.
“Ellie told you that you’d change you tune, Rosie,” she called. Rosie managed a small smile, and cast a glance towards Peregrin Burrows.
* * * * * *
From his seat, Pippin Gamgee watched as Legolas made a hasty retreat from the dance “floor” to join Gimli, while Goldi threw her posy. From the scowl on the elf’s face, Pippin rightly guesses that he was not too pleased. Pippin turned back to watch his favourite sister return to the arms of her new husband, who just happened to be one of his closest friends. Pippin grinned. He was so happy for them both.
From the corner of his eye, he saw his sister Rosie accept a dance offer from Faramir’s cousin Peregrin Burrows (now that the first dance was over, the dance floor was open to all couples). She was still clutching Goldi’s posy. Sam had returned Diamond to Peregrin and taken Rose’s hand, while Meriadoc had collected Estella from the crowd. It the midst of the dancers, Daisy and Primrose were trying to teach Harry and Ed Maggot some difficult steps. Even Merry was dancing, with Lavender looking very comfortable in his arms.
Feeling alone, Pippin sighed, but as he did, he caught sight of Rosemary Bolger, sitting by herself. Her own parents were dancing near Meriadoc and Estella. He took a deep breath, and made his way over to her.
“Good day, Miss Bolger,” he greeted.
Startled, she looked up. “Hullo…Pippin, isn’t it? Pippin Gamgee?”
“Yes, that’s right.” Pippin’s heart fluttered. She knew his name! “Miss Rosemary, would you allow me the honour of this dance?”
With a smile, Rosemary took the hand that he had offered. “Master Pippin, the honour would be all mine.”
Pippin felt very proud of himself, but knew he would have to thank Faramir. He led Rosemary out into the field. Faramir caught his eye and winked. Pippin grinned back.
* * * * * *
Hamfast Gamgee raised his mug. “To my sister, and new brother.”
His companions raised their own mugs. They were the Gamgees’ Cotton cousins, Sam, Carl, Hobart and Holman, sons of Rose’s brothers. Sam Cotton, Tom’s son, was the eldest. Taking a swig from his mug, he scanned the crowd.
“Looking for pretty lasses?” Carl teased. Carl was Jolly’s eldest son.
“As a matter of fact, I am,” Sam returned. His eyes fell upon one lass who was standing by herself, watching the dancers. “Is that Silly Lily?”
“Silly Lily” was a common nickname for Lily Noakes, and one the Cottons often used since Tom’s daughter was also called Lily. Hamfast followed Sam’s line of sight and nodded. “It sure is. My, she don’t scrub up too bad, does she? I mean, when she’s not trying so hard to grab your attention.”
Sam nodded, and drained his mug. He placed it on the table next to him, and made his way over to Lily. His cousins watched as he bowed before her, and offered his hand. She smiled sweetly and accepted. The Cotton and Gamgee lads cheered.
* * * * * *
“What’s funny?” Faramir asked, as he heard Goldi giggle.
“My cousin, Sam, just asked Lily to dance,” she explained. “Remember my friend, Lily. She was at The Ivy Bush that night before Merry’s party.”
“Ah, yes, I remember the one. And you told me that you patched things up with her.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Faramir turned to see where Lily was dancing with Sam Cotton and grinned. “She seems to have patched things up a little more. And Pippin’s dancing with Rosemary Bolger. I knew he could do it.”
“It seems our hard work this morning has paid off. Have you seen Daisy and Prim with Harry and Ed?”
“Let’s not forget Pegs and Rosie.” Faramir kissed Goldi softly on her forehead. “We appear to have started a trend, my love.”
“Yes, but I don’t suppose any of them will manage to beat the lengths you went to, to admit their love, my handsome knight.” She stood on her toes, and whispered in his ear. “How far is Whitwell from here?”
Faramir grinned. “Too far. And we’d miss out on Mother-Rose’s wedding cake.” He chuckled at the disappointed look on her face. “But I do not think that anyone is inside Bag-End just now…”
Without another word, Goldi grasped his hand and dragged him with her towards Bag-End. That was where their first adventure together had started. It only seemed right that their second adventure – the adventure of marriage – should begin there too.
A/N: Thank you all so much for reading! This was the first The Lord of the Rings fanfic that I ever started on, and I changed my mind about it so many times. Originally, Estella and the two Brandybuck children were not in it, but when I started “Just to Be With You”, I had to go back and add them in. And, of course, they were actually going to make it to Rivendell before their fathers, along with Aragorn, found them, but that plotline ended up being far too difficult. It was hard enough simply to get them to Weathertop!
Once again, thanks go to Pearl Took for her help with hobbit-weddings. This was the story I originally asked to use some of her ideas in, but then the Meriadoc/Estella wedding ended up being written first!
I really hope you enjoyed my little tale about Master Faramir Took and Miss Goldilocks Gamgee. It took me two years to write, but I think it was worth it!
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